Who is responsible when marketing emails are sent to lists without permission?
Finding prospects data is a constant challenge for email marketers and the demand for fresh, up-to-date contacts to feed marketers’ requirements is insatiable.
But where do marketer’s stand when it comes to the DPA compliance of the data they rent or buy-in? Who is held legally responsible if a marketer sends out an email campaign to a rented list that has been collected illegally or unfairly?
The perennial problem of SPAM continues to bother both privacy regulators and marketers (not to mention annoying a fair number of consumers).
In the data broking market, there are still far too many non-legitimate sources of email data being offered for rental and sale; these list sources, in turn, feed the non-legitimate marketers with the vital contacts they need.
Where does the buck stop?
In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office has issued its guidance on marketing by electronic means which includes a stark warning to marketers.
The ICO has stated that marketers will be held responsible as the “instigators” of email campaigns if the data they use proves to have been collected unfairly.
The Advertising Standards Authority has been similarly unsympathetic to marketers that it is the client’s responsibility to check the provenance of the data they are using.
Consumers must opt-in to receiving email offers from third parties. If you are offered an email list from a list supplier make sure you see proof of opt-in before broadcasting.